Stand Ghana recently organized another successful Human Rights Education programme for several young people from the B.O.D Basic School at Burma Camp in Accra.
The event took place at the premises of the Base Ordinance Depot Basic School behind El-Wak Stadium in Accra on Monday, December 17th, 2018.
Major topics covered were: Child Rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Responsibilities of Children and Understanding Child Abuse.
The main objective of organizing this programme was to improve awareness on human rights provisions and to help young people know the full content of their basic human rights and responsibilities. This, we believe, would help them enjoy their rights more effectively and responsibly.
Those who took part in the programme included all form three students of B.O.D Basic School, and some teachers; and we were impressed by the active involvement of both the students and their teachers. Many relevant questions were asked by the students and we also receive valuable contributions from both teachers and students.
The head mistress, madam Pearl Ameworwor was also present at the event and sat in throughout the entire duration of the two hour programme – which we very much appreciated. Madam Pearl Ameworwor implored the students to apply what they have learnt in their daily lives.
She also reminded them not to concentrate only on how to enjoy their rights, but to remember to perform their responsibilities as well.
We believe that human rights education is very necessary for everyone especially young people who are the future leaders.
We’ve heard from the Minister of Finance that the Government is planning to stop children whose parents do not pay tax from accessing secondary school education. This is a very worrying and disappointing development because many children whose parents are very poor would be negatively affected should the policy be implemented.
We were indeed very happy when the Free SHS policy was introduced here in Ghana because we felt it was a great opportunity for children from poor homes, especially girls to have secondary education.
But now if government wants to limit it to only children whose parents are tax payers, according to what the Finance Minister said in his presentation of the 2019 budget; then we are back to square one.
We believe this kind of policy will be discriminatory and a VIOLATION of the right of the Ghanaian child to access quality education without impediments from anyone.
“Everyone has the right to education” that is what the first line of article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states. Nowhere in article 26 is it stated that only tax payers’ children can have secondary school education.
If education is a right and not a privilege, then we cannot and should not base access to secondary school education on a child’s parent having Tax Identification Number (TIN).
Introducing the TIN policy in our educational sector will only undermine the whole idea behind the introduction of Free secondary education – which is “not to leave any child behind or at home”.
This is a bad idea and should NEVER be implemented in Ghana.
WRITTEN BY: ROSE MARY KAYI
A human rights awareness programme has been organized for students and teachers of MacLean Junior High School at Odorkor in Accra on Thursday, 1st November 2018.
The presentation focused on some of the basic human rights children are entitled to, their responsibilities; issues of child abuse and what it means to have human rights.
The Executive Director of Stand Ghana, Rose-Mary Kayi delivered a two hour presentation to over 90 form three students and teachers present at the programme. She particularly encouraged the students to “value their human rights and to embrace tolerance and diversity wherever they may find themselves now, and in future”.
The Child Rights Education Project is designed by Stand Ghana to help young people to have adequate knowledge about each of their fundamental human rights granted them under the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and guaranteed for them by the Constitution of Ghana and the Children’s Act 1998 – Act 560.
We are very proud of all the hardworking students who took part in this very important programme.
We thank you for listening to us attentively throughout the presentation. And thanks for all your interesting questions and valuable contributions.
Written By :ROSE MARY K
Over 800 students and teachers of the school were at the programme, which took place at the auditorium of Star Trite.
The Stand Ghana team taught the young students of Star Trite School about the content, meaning and implications of their basic human rights; and about issues of Child abuse.
According to a CHRAJ report of 2011, “Although Ghana has made solid progress in building a democratic society, promoting human rights and the observance of civil liberties, the country still has a long road to travel in establishing a culture of peace and human rights”
At Stand Ghana, we believe that our society will be stronger and better able to establish a culture of human rights and peace if everyone is treated with true respect and dignity; and if everyone knows what their rights, responsibilities and limits are within a democratic environment.
That is why we are taking human rights knowledge to every child in Ghana – whether poor or rich, young or old to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and human rights in our nation.
Young people have the right to know their rights and responsibilities so that they can make responsible choices and grow up into responsible adults in future.
This year we are prioritizing our goal of taking human rights to every child in Ghana – whether rich or poor, one School at a time. That’ s why on Wednesday September 21, 2018 we (Stand Ghana) organized another very successful Child Rights Education programme for the young students of St Charles Preparatory School at Mamprobi – Banana Inn in Accra.
We are extremely pleased with the level of engagement by this young students who were ready to listen to us, asked very interesting questions and made valuable contributions.Their active participation made the programme a huge success.
They were taken through some of their basic human rights and responsibilities; and were educated on issues of child abuse.
We congratulate the government of the New Patriotic Party for introducing Free Secondary Education Programme in Ghana this year; as it gives every child, especially girls, equal opportunity to have secondary education.
The policy is commendable because it allows all qualified students, especially girls from poor homes to go to secondary school free of charge, thus making secondary education available and accessible to every child in Ghana regardless of the economic status of their parents.
If sustained, every girl child in Ghana can have Senior High School (SHS) qualification without any excuses from parents on financial grounds.
Usually, it is the girl child that is sidestepped and left at home in favour of the boy child due to financial constraints – but today, “no money” can no longer be an excuse against girl child education.
So this is a welcomed development for the advancement of gender equality in our educational sector!
The policy gives true meaning to the right of the child to have quality education as stated in article #25 of Ghana’s Constitution; article #28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and article #26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We would however like to entreat government to deal with some of the implementation challenges cropping up, particularly posting of students to day schools outside their areas of residence far away from their parents and guardians.
We are concerned that majority of these students especially the girls are too young to be left on their own because they can be sexually abused easily, leading to teenage pregnancies and School drop-outs.
It is therefore very necessary that all day students are posted to schools near their homes and areas of residence to make life easier for both students and parents
Stand Ghana held another very successful and empowering Human Rights Symposium on Child Rights, Responsibilities & Action; for the form three students of McLean JHS – Odorkor in Accra on Thursday 30th March 2017.
The key objective of this very important outreach programme was to ensure young people are knowledgeable about the full range and content of their fundamental human rights as stated in the Child Rights Convention.
It was also aimed at encouraging young people to respect law and order in society; appreciate and respect the rights of their mates and other people; and helping them grow into responsible adults in future
The over eighty (80) students and some of their teachers who took part in the programme were educated on their basic human rights, responsibilities as children and how to take action to promote and defend human rights in their various communities and homes.
There was also open discussion on types of child abuse, their impact on children, how to report abuse cases, as well as the need to fight against all forms of violations and abuses using human rights provisions and laws.
The students who were mainly JHS Three students actively participated and made valuable contributions to the discussion. They were eager to know more and even shouted “we want more – we want more” when it was time to end the programme! Well done Maclean JHS Three students!!
Participants were encouraged to become ambassadors of human rights in their diverse communities by spreading the word and standing up for human rights whenever necessary.
They were therefore instructed on how to take action for human rights, to empathise with victims of abuse and report cases of human rights abuses and violations to the appropriate authorities in order to make human rights provisions in the constitution meaningful to everyone in Ghana.
According to the Executive Director of Stand Ghana, Ms Rose-Mary Kayi: “A lot of misapprehensions surround the truth about what human rights really are, and we all need to spread the word that human rights are not non-sense or some needless western/foreign imposition! They are necessary for building a more peaceful and progressive democratic society”
The Stand Ghana team later had a Straight Talk Session with the girls after the human rights lecture. This was a mentoring and empowerment session designed to inspire young girls to become positive minded and focused on their studies.
The young girls were encouraged to be smart and have ambition for the future; have a mind set for excellence, and be very determined so as to become very useful to themselves, their families and the larger society tomorrow.
The boys were not left out, as Mr Eyram Adzim a Human Rights Advocate for young people and a volunteer at Stand Ghana also had a Straight Talk Session with the male students. Among others, he strongly cautioned them to “avoid bad company – now, when they get to Senior High, as well as at the university”.
By this, Stand Ghana is catching them young and influencing the future of Ghana positively through human rights education and awareness creation activities.
By Rose-Mary Kayi
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE PROGRAMME